elementalhero: NO PANTS (Itachi [bloodshed])
[personal profile] elementalhero

VIOLENT, VIOLENT ANGER.

THIS IS BROOKLYN RAGE OF THE CENSORSHIP VARIETY.

Upon purchasing Volumes 34-41 of the newly speed-released Naruto manga here in good old Eagleland, I was beautifully excited.

But that changed.  Because of censorship.

I will do this in list format because if I explain in sentences, it will very quickly devolve into keysmashing and argleblarghing.

THINGS THAT THEY CENSORED FOR NO GOOD REASON:

--Asuma slicing off Hidan's head: You know how it was a lovely big spread like this?  They put black bars vertically down the edges of the outer pages so that the stump of Hidan's neck was invisible.  [upon looking at the link] Oddly enough, you can't see it in the scanlation here, either, but there are no black bars.  Strange?  We'll put that one on hold, since it isn't even close to the worst example.

--Hidan's mouth: Nothing.  Nope.  Not even pseudo-swears.  This ruined an entire dimension of Hidan's character and behavior.  WIthout that particular distinction, he just became Generic Villain Number 27.  Also, it made his weird religious beliefs stick out more, since that became the only thing distinguishing his behavior from that of other Akatsuki members.  Although I think the best "disparaging sound" they gave him was "Feh!"  I was like, "Dude, he totally tried to say the f-word and got cut off."  Also, "cesspool" versus "shithole" for the contact point in the bathroom.  It's worth pointing out that him losing his mouth also made it harder to tell that he's not all that bright, since they had to give him big words to get around swears.

--Shikamaru's cigarettes:  THEY PHOTOSHOPPED THEM OUT.  I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING.  I AM NOT.  YOU CAN SEE HIS HAND LIKE HE'S HOLDING SOMETHING AND THERE IS NOTHING THERE.  AT ONE POINT, HE WAS HOLDING THE LIGHTER AND HIS HAND WAS ABOUT THREE INCHES AWAY FOR NO DISCERNIBLE REASON IF ONE DIDN'T KNOW HE WAS LIGHTING A FREAKING CIGARETTE.

And it's not like I wanted him to be smoking, not at all.  But dammit, there is symbolism and a message about his character development buried in the act of him smoking.  They take it away, and half the emotional impact of his scenes is gone.  I cannot even tell you in words how pissed I was.

--Sasuke and Sai action: YES, THEY EVEN RUINED THIS FOR US, FANGIRLS.  On both the girls' version and the guys' version of Konohamaru's Hawt Ghey Sexy no Jutsu, they turned the pictures into silhouettes.

FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS, LADIES.  YOU WON'T GET IT IN AMERICA:


(image from onemanga.com)

I'd like to point out that making that into a silhouette only makes it dirtier, since now the only limit to what precisely is going on is the imagination of the reader.  It's also worth noting that translation fail killed Sai's reaction.

Scanlation version: "Ah!  It's me and Sasuke-kun!"  (total obliviousness, kind of an "Oh, hey, lol, look at that, whadday know?" reaction, which not only fits Sai but is also HILARIOUS because he's the one being completely debauched and also bottoming.)

Viz version: (don't have this with me, so this is how I best remember it) "Is that...me and Sasuke?" (comes off as stunned silence/confusion, making him seem more upset about it and losing the dimension of Sai's total ignorance of social whatevers.  Also, doesn't it completely defeat the point of censoring the damn thing, since without it, there's really no way to tell who it is?  Well, even though it's obvious anyhow, what with Sasuke's duckbutt head sticking out up there.)

Even more infuriating and confusing is that this is the first time that any Sexy Jutsu has been censored.  We have a copy of Volume 1 at my library (THAT I DONATED) sitting in the Young Adult Graphic Novel section.  There is no censorship whatsoever of Naruto's initial transformation (ENTIRE BODY SHOWN, WITH ONLY STRATEGICALLY PLACED SMOKE COVERING UP THE NAUGHTY BITS), or of Harem No Jutsu (A WHOLE LOT OF NAKED WOMEN, ALL STRATEGICALLY DRAWN IN POSITIONS COVERING UP WHAT NEEDS IT), or any violence.  And that is Volume 1, which is, of course, the volume any parents or prospective readers will base their initial reactions to the series on and subsequent decisions to keep reading.  Not to mention, Part 1 of the entire series is aimed at a younger demographic than Part 2 (not by much, but still).  Anyone reading volume 38 is likely to be older, has clearly seen what happens and what is likely to happen in the series, and has accepted it and continued to read. 

IF YOU'RE GOING TO CENSOR IT AT ALL, WHY WOULD YOU WAIT UNTIL NOW TO DO IT?

Not to mention the misogynistic and homophobic implications (though, as I said above, they also censored the two girls that he did, making this at least Equal Opportunity Censorship in terms of sexism).

I was going to separate a section of this post out for lulzy, faily, and confusing translations, but I think I'll make a separate post, since this one is already really full of violent anger.

Date: 2009-02-24 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tafkae.livejournal.com
Semi-OT but I have seen that Naruto face in an icon somewhere and knowing the context just makes it 100 times more hilarious. xD

edit: O HAY it was one of YOUR icons! how about that.
Edited Date: 2009-02-24 03:20 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-02-24 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okroginator.livejournal.com
Hee hee, I probably shoudl have used it above just for the fun, but it wasn't angry enough, I felt.

Date: 2009-02-24 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-sun-is-up.livejournal.com
WHAT. WHAT??? GRAAAARRRR

YOU DO NOT MESS WITH MY YAOI AND YURI NO JUTSU, YOU FUCKERS! >:C

Is it... is it wrong that I was way more pissed off about the censoring of Sasuke/Sai than I was about the other stuff? >.> Although the Shikamaru smoking thing... man, I wasn't a fan of that character development, but dude-- it was clearly a very pointed and important character development! ARGH. And why couldn't they just use mild swearwords like "crap" and "damn" for Hidan? I mean it kind of kills how hardcore he is, but still would preserve some of his swearyness.

Things like this are why I was so glad when I opened one of my English Claymore volumes and at the part where one of the villains called one of the heroes a bitch... SHE DAMN WELL CALLED HER A BITCH! Man, scanlations have their hangups, but I still prefer them to official translations and this is why.

Actually I'm surprised Kishimoto didn't get pissed about this, especially the Shikamaru thing. Or maybe he did and they just blew him off.

Date: 2009-02-26 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okroginator.livejournal.com
I wonder whether he could make the distributors do anything about it even if he wanted to. I mean, how much say does he have over the overseas release?
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-02-26 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okroginator.livejournal.com
I FLIPPED THEM ALL FOR HIM.

Date: 2009-02-24 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redbrunja.livejournal.com
Wow, that is just massive, massive fail.

Never going to be buying a volume of that, for certain.

Date: 2009-02-26 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] okroginator.livejournal.com
I was shocked! Normally the Naruto manga translations are actually kind of good. Makes you appreciate fansubbers.

Date: 2009-03-02 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leradny.livejournal.com
Censorship in manga is a tad ridiculous, of course. They go overboard, like in Naruto, and then we have The Demon Ororon. It is a violently bloody romantic tragedy where even the innocent main character says "Bullshit!" a couple times, and the romantic interest is the fucking King of Hell who can make heads ASPLODE with a touch of his finger. He does that in the first book.

Other than the standard hiccups of actual translation ("You look like a kid who got beat" instead of "You look like a kid who just got hit", for example), there's no real censorship in the English version. This is probably because it's four volumes and well outside the mainstream, as well as being marked for older teens.
From: [identity profile] okroginator.livejournal.com
I have read the Demon Ororon! Yeah, I was pretty cool with that translation (even though I didn't like the manga all that much).

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